Makati court upholds issuance of warrant vs Trillanes over revived rebellion case
File photo shows Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV in a media forum. President Rodrigo Duterte, through Proclamation 572, said that the amnesty was "void from the beginning" since Trillanes failed to comply with the requirements. The order, published on September 4, also directed the Department of Justice and court martial of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to pursue all criminal and administrative cases filed against Trillanes in connection with the Oakwood Mutiny in 2003 and the Manila Peninsula siege in 2007.
The STAR/Geremy Pintolo

Makati court upholds issuance of warrant vs Trillanes over revived rebellion case

Kristine Joy Patag (Philstar.com) - January 7, 2019 - 4:18pm

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 6:12 p.m.) — A Makati court has upheld its earlier decision to issue an arrest warrant against Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV over issues on the amnesty earlier granted to him.

Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150 Presiding Judge Elmo Alameda denied Trillanes’ appeal due to the lawmaker’s failure to “prove the alleged application form exists.”

The order is dated Dec. 18, 2018, but was released to media only on Monday.

On September 25 last year, the court granted the government's plea for the issuance of warrant and travel ban against Trillanes as it held that he “failed to convince the Court that he indeed complied with the minimum requirement” in applying for amnesty.

The ruling effectively reopened the rebellion case against the senator over his involvement in the Manila Peninsula siege.

No new issues in appeal

Alameda, in the ruling, held that the issues raised by Trillanes “have been thoroughly and exhaustively passed upon by this court in its assailed order.”

He said that he is “not persuaded” that the court needs to allow the reception of evidence to rule on the factual issues in the case which covered whether he applied for the amnesty and whether he admitted guilt.

The Makati judge recalled that Trillanes said that he accomplished the amnesty application form.

“As such, Sen. Trillanes bears the burden of proving that he indeed filed his application for amnesty and admitted his guilt rather than the prosecution proving that he did not apply for amnesty and did not admit his guilt,” the order read.

In ruling on Trillanes’ appeal, Alameda held: “Sen. Trillanes’ inability to present the official original copy duly stamp marked received or even a photocopy of the application form bars him from proving alleged contents thereof.”

READ: Trillanes camp fails to present amnesty application

President Rodrigo Duterte, through Proclamation 572, said that Trillanes’ amnesty is “void from the beginning” since he did not apply for it and did not admit guilt.

Following Duterte’s declaration, state prosecutors asked two Makati courts to issue a warrant against the senator over cases that were dismissed when the amnesty was granted to him years ago.

Makati RTC Branch 148, which tackled a plea similar to what was filed before Alameda’s court, junked the government’s appeal and held that Trillanes applied for amnesty and admitted guilt.

Makati RTC Branch 148 Judge Andres Soriano gave weight to the testimonies of officials from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Department of National Defense and a journalist.

EXPLAINER: Trillanes amnesty: Two courts and two rulings that may meet at SC

He held that the secondary evidence may suffice in the case: “It is sufficient that the party offering secondary evidence establish the existence and due execution of the document by preponderance of evidence, and the Court, in such a case may admit secondary evidence without accounting for the original.”

Trial to continue

On the same day that the court issued a warrant against him, Trillanes presented himself to the court and posted bail.

With Alameda’s affirmation of his earlier decision, the trial would continue. 

The prosecution is set to present its evidence on the rebellion case against Trillanes.

The senator had already sought the Supreme Court for relief on the case, but the high court has yet to issue a temporary restraining order on the trials.

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